Ballou, Jec Aristotle & Stephanie Boyles. 101 Western Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider. Storey. Aug. 2014. 240p. illus. index. ISBN 9781612121703. pap. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781603429214. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
In 2013, the Western Dressage Association became an affiliate organization with its own chapter in the U.S. Equestrian Foundation rule book. Ballou (101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider) has not only been endorsed by the U.S. Dressage Federation but also has trained horses and competed in the sport. Boyles is the founder of unbridledrider.com and a producer of smartphone apps for riders. The authors explain how western dressage is both like and unlike classical dressage (both improve the balance, cadence, and carriage of a horse) and provide 101 exercises that are accompanied by descriptions as to why they are useful and how to execute them. There are also unmounted exercises. While many books are available on dressage theory, the lessons in this offering are much more useful than others for actually riding. VERDICT A must for those who want to ride western dressage.
Denizet-Lewis, Benoit. Travels with Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country. S. & S. 2014. 352p. notes. index. ISBN 9781439146934. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781439153567. PETS
While this book’s title conjures up John Steinbeck’s enduring Travels with Charley, the resemblance is only in passing. New York Times Magazine writer Denizet-Lewis (writing and publishing, Emerson Coll.) was concerned that his lab mix, Casey, just didn’t like him very much. So the author conceived of a book idea whereby he would rent a small RV and travel 13,000 miles around the United States with his dog, hoping to improve their relationship. The result is a well-orchestrated and superbly and introspectively written account of his four-month journey from the Boston area to the West Coast and back. The travelog is sprinkled with Denizet-Lewis’s encounters with lots of colorful individuals he ran into, as well as with many people he’d arranged to meet, including Dog Whisperer host Cesar Millan; the original founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; staff members at the famous Best Friends Animal Sanctuary; service and therapy dog trainers; and animal communicators. He quotes noted researchers of animal behavior and cognition such as Brian Hare, Patricia McConnell, John Homans, and Alexandra Horowitz. Copious notes follow the text of the book. Warmth, wit, and self-deprecating humor elevate this journey to much more than a travel memoir. VERDICT Essential reading for dog lovers and armchair travelers.
Howard, Jules. Sex on Earth: A Celebration of Animal Reproduction. Bloomsbury Sigma. Nov. 2014. 272p. illus. ISBN 9781408193419. $27. SCI
In his debut book, Howard (zoologist, nature writer, Guardian; Independent; BBC Wildlife Magazine) takes the reader on a romp through the sex lives of animals. The author’s self-deprecating humor combines with the tantalizing subject matter to great effect, creating an entertaining read that is also an eye-opening education. He covers the erotic adventures of backyard animals such as frogs, ducks, and hedgehogs, the details of racehorse breeding, and the debauchery of dinosaurs. The publicized inability of the Edinburgh Zoo to get its pandas to reproduce is a recurring theme throughout the work, as Howard roots for the pandas and defends them against newspaper headlines that, in his view, blame unfairly the creatures for a lack of libido. Offering a peek into the mechanics of intercourse in different species and the ways that humans intervene in the reproduction of endangered animals, the author also discusses the evolutionary incentives for sex as well as seemingly unlikely reproductive strategies, including monogamy, masturbation, and asexual reproduction. VERDICT Howard’s wit and clear explanations of the birds and the bees make this volume ideal for all readers. An excellent pick for those who enjoyed Mary Roach’s Bonk.
Wren, Barry G. & Margaret Stephenson Meere. Menopause: Change, Choice and HRT. Rockpool. 2014. 242p. notes. index. ISBN 9781921878695. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781925017052. HEALTH
In 1991, the Women’s Health Initiative Study reported an increase in cancer and cardiovascular disease in women who had used hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Gynecologist Wren, founder of the Australian Menopause Society, and nurse/midwife Meere (Baby’s First 100 Days) contend that the results of that study were misinterpreted, and question the recommendation that menopausal women cease the use of estrogen and progestin to treat physical and emotional symptoms of menopause. They present a convincing case, based on newer findings as well as review of earlier findings, for the use of HRT. The authors suggest that it is vitally important for all women to maintain the normal function of the cells in the body and describe the ways in which HRT can help with that maintenance. Although there are anecdotal reports of relief from bothersome hot flashes in response to the use of alternative therapies, Wren and Meere point out that there is no scientific evidence that those treatments provide protection to the uterus, breasts, vagina, bones, arteries, or heart. VERDICT Offering a different conclusion to recent books such as Prevention magazine’s The Natural Menopause Solution (2012), this highly recommended read will give women much to consider and weigh.
No time for pain
Richeimer, Steven H. with Kathy Steligo. Confronting Chronic Pain: A Pain Doctor’s Guide to Relief. Johns Hopkins. 2014. 256p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781421412535; pap. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421412542. HEALTH
Richeimer (anesthesiology and psychiatry, chief, Division of Pain Medicine, Univ. of Southern California) provides an engaging, holistic, and up-to-date overview of the treatment of chronic pain, a debilitating condition that affects millions of Americans each year. The book begins with a scientific overview of what pain actually is from a biological perspective, then examines the most common sources of chronic pain: arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia, headaches, low-back pain, and general neuropathy. These descriptions are accessible but scientifically informed. From the biological accounts of the conditions, the author then discusses pain medications, and how they work. He moves on to other treatment options for pain and considers the impact of emotional and psychological well-being on chronic pain in line with current research. Further expanding this holistic approach, he addresses the role of spirituality in making meaning and coping with pain before turning to a chapter on chronic pain’s effect on sufferers and their families. Finally, the author looks at the future of pain control. The book contains many helpful illustrations and diagrams. VERDICT Those who suffer from chronic pain will find this readable, sophisticated yet approachable treatment of its causes and treatment a helpful read.
Stern, Jack. Ending Back Pain: 5 Powerful Steps To Diagnose, Understand, and Treat Your Ailing Back. Avery. Aug. 2014. 320p. index. ISBN 9781583335468. pap. $18; ebk. ISBN 9780698147935. HEALTH
Back pain is very common, second only to headache as a neurological complaint and right behind colds and flu as a reason for visiting a physician. The author, a neurosurgeon and spine specialist and a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, treats back pain and he has also been a patient. He provides excellent advice for those who suffer. This book explains the types and causes of back pain and offers a checklist that readers can use to help pinpoint the types of pain that they have. The author explains how doctors diagnose the condition, taking into consideration the cultural as well as the physical aspects of the problem. He tells readers how to advocate for themselves when working with a health-care professional and explains the diagnostic tests that may be used. He urges them to consider physical therapy and integrative therapies as well as psychological treatment, reserving surgery only for those conditions that require it. He also discusses lifestyle changes that promote a healthy back: good posture, exercise, sufficient sleep, and a healthy diet. VERDICT Highly recommended for public and consumer health collections. This is an excellent book about a common health problem that is very challenging.
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Funk, Kate. The Best Cat Book Ever: Super-Amazing, 100% Awesome. Griffin: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2014. 112p. photos. ISBN 9781250050380. $12.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466851481. PETS
Xerces Society. Farming with Native Beneficial Insects: Ecological Pest Control Solutions. Storey. Aug. 2014. 272p. illus. index. ISBN 9781612122830. pap. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781612122847. AGRI
Health & Medicine
Kellman, Raphael. The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way To Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss. Da Capo. 2014. 352p. notes. index. ISBN 9780738217659. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780738217666. HEALTH
Laufer, Peter. Organic: A Journalist’s Quest To Discover the Truth Behind Food Labeling. Lyons: Globe Pequot. 2014. 288p. notes. index. ISBN 9780762790715. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781493011650. HEALTH
Levine, James A. Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It. Palgrave Macmillan. 2014. 224p. notes. index. ISBN 9781137278999. pap. $17. HEALTH
Arnold, Dave. Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail. Norton. Nov. 2014. 416p. photos. index. ISBN 9780393089035. $35. BEVERAGES
Coscarelli, Chloe. Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen: 150 Pizzas, Pastas, Pestos, Risottos, and Lots of Creamy Italian Classics—Veganized! Atria. Sept. 2014. 288p. photos. index. ISBN 9781476736075. pap. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476736082. COOKING
Esselstyn, Ann Crile & Jane Esselstyn. The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook: Over 125 Delicious, Life-Changing, Plant-Based Recipes. Avery. Sept. 2014. 320p. photos. index. ISBN 9781583335581. pap. $25. COOKING
Kolpan, Steven & others. WineWise. 2d ed. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2014. 384p. photos. index. ISBN 9780544334625. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780544332577. BEVERAGES
Martins, Patrick with Mike Edison. The Carnivore’s Manifesto: Eating Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat. Little, Brown. 2014. 272p. illus. index. ISBN 9780316256247. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316256223. COOKING
Artstein, Zvi. Mathematics and the Real World: The Remarkable Role of Evolution in the Making of Mathematics. Prometheus. Sept. 2014. 445p. tr. from Hebrew by Alan Hercberg. ISBN 9781616140915. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781616145460. MATH
Gleiser, Marcelo. The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning. Basic: Perseus. 2014. 352p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780465031719. pap. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780465080731. SCI
Johnson, Curtis. Darwin’s Dice: The Idea of Chance in the Thought of Charles Darwin. Oxford Univ. Oct. 2014. 288p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9780199361410. $29.95. SCI
Marciano, John Bemelmans. Whatever Happened to the Metric System? How America Kept Its Feet. Bloomsbury USA. Aug. 2014. 384p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781608194759. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781608199419. SCI
Miodownik, Mark. Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World. Houghton Harcourt. 2014. 272p. illus. index. ISBN 9780544236042. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544237049. SCI
Prusiner, Stanley B. Madness and Memory: The Discovery of Prions—A New Biological Principle of Disease. Yale Univ. 2014. 352p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780300191141; ebk. ISBN 9780300199260. $30. SCI
Raffin, Michele. The Birds of Pandemonium. Algonquin. Oct. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9781616201364. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616204273. NAT HIST
Tillman, Ned. Saving the Places We Love: Paths to Environmental Stewardship. Chesapeake. Sept. 2014. 264p. illus. maps. ISBN 9780982304976. pap. $16. NAT HIST
Yudell, Michael. Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century. Columbia Univ. Sept. 2014. 304p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780231168748. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780231537995. SCI